An advert commissioned by one of the biggest online betting operators in Australia has broken the record for complaints.
The advert, for Sportsbet, drew 793 complaints from the Australian public. It showed a man naked from the waist up, and made an apparent link between betting and sexual success
Australia’s advertising regulator ruled that the advert sent an inappropriate and false message to young men that gambling would improve their sexual appeal. Addressing the high level of complaints, the Chief Executive of Ad Standards, Fiona Jolly, said that the numbers showed that consumers were aware that advertisers had to adhere to certain standards:
During 2018 the record for complaints about a single advertisement was broken twice, and in total Ad Standards dealt with 6600 complaints during the course of the year. Commenting on the state of Australian advertising, Jolly said that companies should familiarise themselves with the regulations and the code of practice that governs adverts in Australia. She also highlighted certain recurring issues that cropped up regularly in the complaints received:
“The things that traditionally receive the most complaints under the code of ethics are issues around the depiction of women and sexualised images.”
The link between gambling and advertising has been the subject of much controversy in a number of jurisdictions throughout 2018, with gambling companies in the UK and Australia criticised for the volume of betting adverts that appear on television.